MLB moves All-Star Game over Ga. voting law


Major League Baseball is moving the 2021 All-Star Game and 2021 draft out of Atlanta in response to a new Georgia voting law that critics say unfairly limits access to the ballot box, especially for people of color.

“Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.”

The decision follows calls from as the White House to consider moving the midsummer classic out of Atlanta. President Joe Biden told ESPN on Wednesday that he would “strongly support” pulling the game out of Atlanta because of a law he described as “Jim Crow on steroids.”

In his statement, Manfred said MLB “fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.” Manfred said MLB would continue to celebrate the memory of Hank Aaron, who died in January, during the All-Star festivities.

No new site for the All-Star Game or draft were announced.

In the face of repeated assertions by former President Donald Trump that Georgia’s election was fraudulent, the Republican-controlled legislature approved a sweeping new law that would, among other things, place new ID requirements on absentee voting by mail and prohibit handing out food and water to voters standing in line.

Supporters of the law have said it merely ensures election integrity and stamps out potential fraud. Others have said the motives are more sinister after an election that registered nearly 5 million votes with no credible evidence of serious wrongdoing.

While numerous GOP-governed states around the country have pushed for new restrictions on voting in the wake of Biden’s victory over Trump, Georgia has become a lightning rod for the issue because of its pivotal role in the November election.

The All-Star Game had been set for July 13 at Truist Park and would have been the third time Atlanta serves as host, having previously held the event in 1972 and 2000.

No new site for the All-Star Game or draft were announced.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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